So far, tariffs imposed by the two countries are expected to have a modest impact on growth and inflation, economists estimate. Trump tweeted Wednesday. Republican senators expressed concern over the escalation of USA tariffs.
However, a move by China against U.S. multi-nationals "could pose a far greater threat to the index in time", Jones said. Members of Congress pushed back Tuesday night and early Wednesday against what they saw as harmful penalties that would leave American farmers and consumers caught in the crossfire.
He said the plastics industry needs a "reliable, rational approach to trade".
The list is subject to a two-month public comment period before taking effect.
The situation threatens to worsen as the Office of the US Trade Representative released a new round of 10-percent tariffs on Chinese goods with a value of US$200 billion. America actually enjoys a trade surplus with China on that score.
Asked what Beijing would do, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying gave no details but said: "We will take firm and forceful measures".
China, however, has explicitly excluded LNG from its list of US energy goods that may be subject to tariffs, as it seeks to fight air pollution by a massive switch from coal-fired to gas-fired residential heating. That would leave China only $80 billion for further retaliation.
Deutsche Bank described Trump's latest threat as a "significant escalation" and if it was fully implemented, likely to mean a hit to China's real economy of 0.3 percent of GDP, most likely in 2019.
China could also exploit its strong hold over the rare earth metals market, which is crucial to USA electronics - and especially to our military technology. What confuses China the most about Trump's actions? On Friday, the USA slapped 25 percent taxes on $34 billion in Chinese imports, majority are industrial goods that the Trump administration says receive subsidies or other unfair support from Beijing. Malmström says its "well known" that the US agriculture sector is one of the "few groups with political clout to bring about change in Washington", adding "it's no coincidence" that the EU, Mexico and Canada are targeting USA agriculture products in response to the Trump steel and aluminum tariffs.
"This is an appropriate response under the authority of Section 301 to obtain the elimination of China's harmful industrial policies", Lighthizer added.
"We will remain vigilant in defending the ability of our workers and businesses to compete on a fair and reciprocal basis", he said.
Fresh US tariffs would also come at a time when the Trump administration is seeking Beijing's help reining in North Korea's nuclear-weapons programme.
Chris Rogers, research director of a global shipping data platform called Panjiva, notes that shipments of Ivanka's products seem to have halted since the beginning of March, but explains that it's possible that the company's suppliers have changed and that they are now shipping from China under a code name.
For plastics, the list includes more than 100 specific categories, including flexible tube, pipe and hose, and various PVC and other plastic tiles, flooring and furniture. The first round of tariffs covered Chinese products ranging from farming plows to machine tools and communications satellites.